For competitive weightlifters, powerlifting is the most effective method for gaining the massive results that you want to see. A powerlifting training regimen will include a few advanced exercises, but it also primarily requires a more arduous training schedule. In addition to the traditional weightlifting workouts like bench presses, biceps curls and shoulder presses, powerlifting workouts will introduce you to Olympic forms such as the deadlift, the clean-and-jerk, and the squat.
Powerlifting is more than the exercises you do, it's the high level of frequency and intensity with which you perform them that matters. A traditional weightlifting schedule may involve three workouts spread throughout the week, with one off day in between each session. A powerlifting schedule requires four or five lifting days a week with recovery days spent performing cardio or flexibility exercises. For example, you may do chest, triceps and shoulder exercises on Mondays and Thursdays, biceps and back exercises on Tuesdays and Fridays, lower body exercises on Saturdays, and cardio on Wednesdays and Sundays. This weekly schedule will keep going through an 11- or 12-week cycle, then you will take two weeks off from any type of exercise. In this down time, you will prepare new exercises that work the same muscle groups, and begin another 11- or 12-week cycle.
The deadlift works the quads, the hamstrings, the latissimus dorsi, the trapezius and a host of smaller stabilizer muscles throughout the body. The key to properly performing a deadlift is in mastering the form, because the routine involves lifting a lot of weight for a relatively short distance. Lift 80 percent of your maximum capacity. Make sure your back doesn't roll or bend backward, because this will cheat the weight. Don't lift with your shoulders.
Clean-and-jerks work most of the muscles that the deadlift works, but adds the deltoids, biceps, triceps and upper pectorals. Like the deadlift, proper form is crucial to the successful execution of a clean-and-jerk. The clean-and-jerk is a two-phase exercise. The first phase requires you to swing the barbell from thigh level to your chest. The second phase is an explosive motion, pressing the bar above your head. Practice the motion with an unladen barbell several times until you've got it down.
Squats work out the lower back, the hamstrings, the quads and most of the lower body. For best results, use a squat rack to perform your sets, as this will prevent the loss of form during the exercise. Use a neckpad on the barbell to cushion your neck from the weight of the bar. Use fluid motions, and avoid explosive bursts. Increase the sets and reduce the number of reps per set to increase muscle mass.